U.S. Encountered More Than Two Million Illegal Aliens at Its Southern Border in 2021

During just one year in the Oval Office, President Joe Biden has almost entirely dismantled enforcement along the southern border with his reckless immigration agenda. Unsurprisingly, his administration’s destructive policies have only brought trouble for the American people, and their actions suggest a lack of urgency to resolve the problem.

On Monday, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) revealed authorities encountered 178,840 illegal aliens along the southern border in December, bringing the total number of encounters to 2,035,010 during the 2021 calendar year. That figure is more than double the highest annual total for any year during the Trump administration. The data also show December’s encounters surpassed the combined the totals from that same month during 2018 (60,794), 2019 (40,565), and 2020 (73,994).

Additionally, in the first three months of Fiscal Year 2022, which began in October 2021, 518,370 encounters were recorded, more than doubling the encounters made during the first three months of FY 2021. If the current pace holds, and nothing suggests that it won’t, 2022 will exceed Biden’s record-breaking first year in office.

Nearly every southern border sector has experienced increases in unauthorized crossings compared to previous years. Yet, the Biden administration has done nothing to aid Border Patrol agents in curbing the flow of unlawful migration.

Furthermore, despite these alarming numbers and a recent court order requiring the Biden administration to release CBP statistics on the 15th of each month, these figures were published on January 24, nine days after the mandated deadline. Similarly, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement still has not produced its annual report on deportations and removals (these yearly reports are traditionally released in October or November). The lack of transparency on immigration-related information from this administration is troubling.

The president can implement any number of solutions to gain control of this crisis quickly and effectively. One measure is fully enacting the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). This policy requires migrants applying for asylum to the U.S. to remain in Mexico for the duration of their application process. While the administration has technically restarted MPP, it has applied it to fewer than 300 asylum seekers so far. This policy alone helped authorities reduce the flow of unlawful migration during the Trump administration. A full reinstatement would go a long way in curbing the current crisis.

President Biden must ensure the security and safety of all Americans. Failing to secure our border falls short of those duties. If he fails to reverse course, this crisis will only worsen in his second year in office.

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